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Southeastern and Network Rail issue train chaos warning ahead of stormy weather set to batter Kent

30 January 2014
by KentOnline reporter

Kent train passengers are being warned of possible travel chaos as forecasters predict more severe weather.

Strong winds and heavy rain are predicted for the county for tomorrow evening and into Saturday.

Rail operator Southeastern said the chance of falling trees and damaged infrastructure could bring delays and cancellations.

Southeastern trains could be delayed by severe weather. Picture Library image

Southeastern trains have been delayed by a landslip. Picture: Library image

Network Rail has put in place speed restrictions on part of the network from 8pm tomorrow until the close of service.

Michelle Ulyatt, customer relations manager for Southeastern, said: "With the severe weather forecast, safety is our absolute priority.

"Network Rail has advised us that because of the risk of trees on the lines, flooding and more landslips, trains will need to run at a reduced speed on Friday night.

"We'll be making every effort to provide the best possible service, however it is likely that services will be disrupted.

"We're advising customers to check before they travel and plan ahead to avoid possible delays."

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Fiona Taylor, route managing director for Kent at Network Rail, said: "Safety is always our priority and we apologise to passengers whose journeys will be disrupted as a result of this decision.

"After the wettest January in 100 years, the land around the railway is completely saturated and there is more heavy rain forecast, along with high winds.

"This means that there is a heightened risk of trees and other debris falling on the line and we have to be prepared for that."

High-speed services will be unaffected by the speed restrictions.

Network Rail will be out at first light checking the railway lines for any damage on Saturday morning.

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